Tajikistan denies Moscow claim of mercenary recruitment

Tajikistan's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Shokhin Samadi on April 6 denied claims by Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev that Ukraine has been recruiting mercenaries for its military in the country's territory. Patrushev charged that Kyiv's embassy in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, has been recruiting Tajikistan nationals to join the International Legion of the Ukrainian army, in return for a pathway to Ukrainian citizenship. The comments were made during a meting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Kazakhstan.

The allegations come as relations between Tajikistan and Russia are under strain following the March 22 attack on the Crocus Music Hall outside Moscow, which led to the deaths of some 140 people. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. The four suspected gunmen arrested in Russia are said to be Tajikistan nationals, and nine others were detained in connection with the attack March 29 in Tajikistan. Retired Russian Col. Bakhtier Rakhmonov alleged to state media outlet RIA Novosti that several of those involved in the attack were recruited through the Ukrainian embassy in Dushanbe. Ukraine has denied any involvement.

Tajikistan and Russia have historically had strong ties, with the two countries signing a Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation & Mutual Assistance in 1993 and Russia maintaining a military base in Dushanbe. Tajikistan also depends heavily on foreign assistance from Moscow, athough support has declined since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The Crocus attacks, coupled with Tajikistan's continued membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, has caused tensions between the countries to develop over the last two years.

From Jurist, April 7. Use wit permission.

See our last report on the Crocus City Hall attack

Russia detains another suspect in Moscow concert hall attack

The Moscow City Court announced April 27 that a citizen of Tajikistan, Dzhumakhon Kurbonov, has been arrested for his involvement in the Crocus City Hall attack. According to the investigations, Kurbonov was responsible for providing funds and logistical support for the preparation of the attack. (Jurist)